Current News

Current News

SIRNI ZAGOVEZNI (Shrove Sunday/ Cheese Fasting)

2/14/2010 10:05:27 AM

Ritual table: cheese pastry, rite bread, cheese pumpkin, eggs, white halvah with nuts, fish.

Seven weeks before Easter and one week after the Meat Fasting is celebrated Shrove Sunday, also known as Cheese Fasting – a holiday, which marks the beginning of the longest period of fasting during the whole year.

The festive dinner has the character of a ritual. The whole family – parents, sons, daughters and grandchildren gather in the evening of the holiday to feast with milk containing meals. The excitement during the dinner increases when the time for the Hamkane custom comes. The cheese fasting day is time for forgiveness – the young ask the old for forgiveness, children apologize to their parents, they kiss the hand of the elderly saying: “Forgive me, mother, father…”.  “You are forgiven, God will forgive you” is the obligatory response that follows.

The most characteristic and essential rite on this day is the lighting of the ceremonial fires. The traditional folk dances played on Cheese fasting are the last for the winter festive cycle. No folk dances are performed during the Lent with the exception of the Buenetsa dance.

The Koukeri ritual at Shrove Sunday
 
Shrove Sunday (also known as the First Sunday before the Lent) - is the day for forgiveness. According to Bulgarian traditions, family members are giving each other their forgiveness during a family dinner later that day.  People use set phrases, such as “Forgive me, mother, ..father, ..” and “Let all be forgiven to you,.. God forgives”  to ask and give their pardoning to their close ones.  The popular ritual of “hamkane” is performed that night – a peeled boiled egg, a piece of halva or a coal is tied to a piece of thread hanging from a long pole. Then the thread is moved around in large circles and everyone around the feast table (especially the younger kids) is trying to catch it with mouth only (no use of hands is allowed)…

The most typical tradition connected to that day is starting the feast fires. Right from the very dawn, a Koukeri band starts its walk around everybody’s home.  By means of various symbolic and ritual-magic actions, they are wishing health, land fertility and prosperity to the hosts.

 At Shrove Sunday, the spirit gets purged by the forgiveness given and asked for, the body gets stronger if the person manages to jump over the fire, and the nature sends away evil forces by the ringing of the Koukeri bells. The dance of those masked men brings blessing and land fertility. A Kouker young woman (also called “bride”) starts ploughing the field and calls fertility, health and good luck to come into people’s houses.

 St. IVAN RILSKI (also known as St John of Rila)
St Ivan Rilski had lived in many places until he finally settled in the wonderful Rila Mountain where he founded a monastery that has been existing until now, for more than 1000 years.
SVETA BOGORODITSA (Holy Virgin Marys Day)
The Orthodox Church names this day Dormition of the Theotokos, also known in Eastern Orthodox world as Assumption Day or Holy Virgin Marys Day
Transfiguration of our Lord Jesus Christ
August 6th, the Orthodox Church celebrates the Transfiguration of our Lord Jesus Christ.
MAKAVEYAN DAYS - August 1-12
MAKAVEYAN DAYS - August 1-12
8/1/2018 9:00:00 AM
The traditional holidays called "Makaveyan Days" last for 12 days - from August 1st to August 12th.
ST. PANTELEYMON, the All-Merciful
ST. PANTELEYMON, the All-Merciful
7/27/2018 9:00:00 AM
Name day of everyone named Panteley, Dobra, Dobrin, Dobrina.T
Plovdiv hosts the 2018 World Rowing Under 23 Championships
From July 26 until 29 the city of Plovdiv hosts the 2018 World Rowing Under 23 Championships.
St. Annas Summer Feastday (Dormition of the Mother of the Holy Virgin)
Name day of everyone named Anna, Yana, Enko.
Hills of Rock 2018 festival adds 14 new names to its lineup
Hills of Rock is getting bigger! 14 new names have been announced to the second edition of the Plovdiv festival.
St. Prophet Ilia (Ilinden)
St. Prophet Ilia (Ilinden)
7/20/2018 9:00:00 AM
St. Ilia is a Judaic prophet and a wandering hermit, who lived in the time of the Israeli king of Ahav and queen Iesavel.
That day back in 791 AD, Bulgarian Army led by Khan Kardam won the battle by the Markella Fortress
The name of Kardam is first encountered in the Byzantine sources in 791, when Emperor Constantine VI embarked on an expedition against Bulgaria